The first question is: Will this laptop be for a kid? How responsible are they? Is it their first?
If not for a kid, is it for an adult who is: Competent with a PC? business oriented? Hobby oriented? Rough on electronics or cautious?
My first concern is whether I have a particular brand in mind. Is there a brand I would have over others? For example, the best laptop I have ever had was a Sony Vaio that I bought off eBay.
I have had 3 other laptops, one new and 2 others used. These 3 had been supplied to me from my business and I hated them. The Sanyo was for work. Technically my job paid for it, but I bought it off eBay for a very cheap price and I still have it today (10 years later). I would not own a Dell if you gave it to me (personal preference). There is another brand too that I don't care for, but I can't think of it right now.
Okay, you may be asking why I am giving you these opinions. If you are buying the laptop for someone else and they hate it right from the get go, you won't get your money's worth out of it. The person you get it for will be reluctant to use it and dawdle at the prospect of doing so.
Now, if it is for you, then you know your preferences. If you have never had a laptop, talk to people that do. Ask them if you can play with their laptop a bit and see how it "feels". Different laptops feel different than others. I like the Vaio I have because the keyboard has standard size keys. That was my selling point.
Now, let's get right to bullet points for things you have to consider.
And if you look into some of the newer laptops there are all kinds of "extras" being built in that may some day be required or expected.
Let's talk about 13. Can the laptop handle a SATA hard drive or are you limited to an IDE drive. You can get a pretty big IDE drive, but the larger drives nowadays require SATA compatibility. I have a 500 gig hard drive in my laptop and I never thought it would not be enough, until last week :(
Can the memory be expanded, how many slots does the laptop have for memory, how many are currently being used and if you can switch them out how big a memory card can you put in it?
Now let me point out something not so obvious. I have a laptop I love. And I have a dedicated laptop case I love as well. I bought a newer laptop of the same type, but with a larger screen. Imagine my surprise when I found out the sucker didn't fit in my laptop case. Needless to say that laptop is on eBay and I'm still using my old laptop and case. :)
Now let me point out something else that is a major consideration, the operating system. This is really the second most important aspect of buying a PC or laptop of any kind. Some operating systems are no longer supported. Some jobs require a certain operating system. You may have friends that know a lot about one version of Windows, but are clueless if you have anything else. These are the people that will be helping you with your laptop in times of crisis. Make sure your running an OS you can get help with.
I was in the IT business for years, from DOS through Windows XP. My parents bought a PC with Windows Vista and were looking for me to help them with it. After about, hmmm, a year, I think I finally have the bugger under control. I have yet to see a Windows 7 and personally I regret the day someone with that OS asks for help. I would have better luck with a Linux system which I only have a small inkling of.
So there is a bunch of food for thought. If you have questions or want suggestions feel free to drop me a message. I'll be glad to help.
Oh! I almost forgot. How much are you willing to spend? That can help decide on many factors alone. Good hunting.
Source: Years of IT professional experience
By Suntydt from Tazewell, TN
I am looking for a laptop for travel use. It will only be used for internet and word processing. Any input appreciated.
By Anniev from NC
I bought a compaq a year ago. Its what I wanted, all my desktops have always been compaq so I wouldnt look at anything else. Regretting that now. Not because I dont love my laptop, I do, but my sister in law got an acer and I like it better, lol. Its so much lighter, mine is so dang heavy, plus so much cheaper. She uses hers for school and work and travels with it all the time. So look into Acers.
Notebook or a laptop? Which is a better buy? What should I avoid when buying a computer, common mistakes?
By Ginny from Bryan, TX
I went from a PC to a MacBook (Apple laptop) in 2010 and have never regretted the switch. I looked at notebooks but the laptop was the final choice-a laptop has everything a PC or iMac features, but in a convenient, portable, compact unit. My screen is a good size for me at 15", and it has several USB ports and two headphone jacks. I didn't see any notebooks with decent sized screens or any ports-since back-ups and upload ability are important to me, going with the laptop was practically a no-brainer once I got a look at both. I can even play DVDs on my MacBook.
Another huge plus, I took it to the US with me in the spring of 2011 and had no trouble using it there-used a transformer with my UK power cord, my son set me up on the wireless, and I was sending emails back to the UK within hours of my arrival to the US:) I was able to plug into his printer too. I think the storage on a laptop is far superior to a notebook as well.
I think a laptop is going to weigh a bit more than a notebook, but not by much. I can slip my MacBook into a messenger bag and carry it comfortably or I can use the wheelie bag-lovely for travelling to sewing and crafting meet-ups because the bag holds my MacBook (with my crafting files handy:) AND my crafting supplies.
I love my laptop so much I will never go back to a desktop unit again, even an iMac (my husband loves his but doesn't hesitate to 'glom' onto my MacBook when we travel, LOL!)
I'm buying two laptop computers for my nephews who are attending technical school. They are disadvantaged, parents very poor, poorer than I am. Where can I find a good laptop or two for cheap?
My friend said they need a 1GB memory and 100GB hard drive with Ether net, to access the internet via high speed cable. They will be downloading a lot of stuff for school. Help, I need them as soon as possible, are there any programs out there for disadvantaged teens who are trying to break the poverty cycle?
Glenda from New Market, TN
I am thinking of purchasing a laptop for graduate classes. Any suggestions? Do's? Don'ts? How powerful, yet lightweight can one be?
By cookwie from Richardson, TX